David Friedman

May 7, 2002

Post #1481 – 20020507

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I have been a fan of your work since I read Alan Mandelson as a fourth grader some 15-or-so years ago. It introduced me to more of your work (in print and radio), and I’ve re-read it every few years, and even loaned it to friends and acquaintances, spreading the Pinkwater fandom.

Recently, curiosity lead me to learn about Scientology (not in a “Maybe I should become a Scientologist” sorta way, but more in a “What the heck is all this Scientology stuff really about anyway?” sorta way). As I researched, I could not help but notice similarities between Scientology and the story of Alan Mendelsohn the Boy From Mars.

The parallels are so strong that I would find coincience unlikely. I considered that I might be looking into it too much, but dismissed that as the least-interesting explanation. It seems to me that it is probably parody. If so, I wondered what portion of the reading audience gets it.

So I did some digging. I thought, “Perhaps this is an already-discussed topic, and Daniel Pinkwater has commented on it before. Maybe I’m late on the Klugarsh-as-Hubbard bandwagon.” But my search on the internet found nothing.

(I did learn, though, that a guy who used to write Saturday Morning Cartoons saw fit to introduce Scientology concepts into episodes of Muppet Babies, Superfriends, and Dungeons & Dragons.)

So I decided to write and ask you: What is the parallel between Alan Mendelson and Scientology? Are you a scientologist? An anti-scientologist? Has this topic been discussed or addressed anyplace? Have you addressed it anyplace?

I understand that the topic may not be suitable for the “Talk to DP” public forum due to some people’s sensitivity to discussing religion, but a personal reply would suit me just fine. I assume, of course, that you’re open to answering such questions.

Thank you. Always a fan,

David Friedman

Daniel replies:

I don't know a single thing about Scientology. I have never had a conversation with anyone who was a Scientologist, never read a book about Scientology--and except for news stories which never show it in a very attractive light, I wouldn't even know such a thing existed.